After Easter Musings - Part 2
For the past few weeks I’ve been revisiting some of the details surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. For the past few days my focus has been Matthew 27:45-54.
My blog post last week looked at some of Jesus’ last words. Today, I want to look at two amazing events relating to Jesus’ death and rising back to life. One of which is one of the least talked about miracles of the New Testament.
We’ll begin with Matthew 27:51: “Then behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.”
At the moment of Jesus’ death the veil of the Temple tore in two from top to bottom. This event was of monumental significance!
The veil was a massive curtain—a barrier between sinful man and holy God. It was four inches thick and sixty feet high. Behind the veil was the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwelled.
Once a year the high priest would go behind the veil to offer a sacrifice of the blood of a spotless lamb to atone for the sins of himself and the people (Hebrew 9:7).
Now on this day, which we call Good Friday, Jesus was the Lamb. His blood atoned for our sins once and for all. God received the blood of His Son and offered forgiveness for all our sins. It’s up to each of us to accept His offer. We have free will.
Jesus paid our debt in full once and for all.
At that moment God Himself tore the temple veil from top to bottom. No human could have done that. The Holy of Holies was now exposed and our Heavenly Father was accessible to all who will receive His Son. Jesus made the way.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body ... let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
The next verse tells of an event which is a phenomenon, rarely mentioned by preachers and teachers. In fact this past Sunday, a few days after I wrote this post, my pastor actually included it in his sermon. I was thrilled. I’ve sat in many a church pew and have done many a Bible study and this was the first time I’ve ever heard someone talk about this verse from a pulpit or lectern.
Verses 52-53 says, “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
Who were these people? We’re told they are saints. Some translations say they were righteous people. For this, I’m going to yield the floor to my pastor, Hal Adams, and provide a link to his sermon from last Sunday. He covers this much better than I had planned to do.
But first, I want to add one last verse because I love it so much and it is very telling. Verse 54 says, “So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was this Son of God!’”
Below is the link to Pastor Hal’s sermon last Sunday. The video is pretty lengthy so if you don’t have time for the entire thing (which I hope you do) the part about verses 52-53 is at about the 50 minute mark. Please be bless as you watch and listen.
Your comments are welcome.
©Copyright 2017 Connie Wohlford